Winifred Van Tongerloo, one of only four survivors of the 1912 Titanic disaster and the last one to live in North America died Thursday, July 4, in Hospital in Lansing, Michigan. She was 98.
Winifred Quick was born in England on Jan 23, 1904, and her parents emigrated
to the United States in 1910. She was eight years old and travelling in second
class aboard Titanic with her mother, Jane, and her sister, Phyllis. The family was returning to Michigan after visiting relatives abroad.
All of them survived. For years after the disaster Winifred's mother was in
demand as a lecturer on the Chautauqua circuit. Winnie Quick dropped out of high school and went to work at a chocolate factory, then later at bakery. When she was 19, she married Alois Von Tongerloo, a Belgian immigrant. They had five children, three sons and two daughters.
One of the things Mrs. Van Tongerloo remembered about the sinking was that she was was frightened for a second when a steward fastened her into a lifebelt. She thought he was going to throw her overboard into the water. "I will never forget the ship right before it made the final plunge," she told a reporter in 1992. "It stood straight up as if suspended by air - and those horrible sounds of crashing metal echoing across the water."
She led a quiet life in Warren, Mich. and remained active even after she went into a retirement home. She played bingo once a week and had never lost her passion for chocolate chip cookies.
The three remaining Titanic survivors are Milvina Dean, 90, Barbara Dainton,
91, and Lillian Asplund ,95, all of whom live in the U.K.